The South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace won three of their last five holes Thursday to defeat the American team of Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka.
They’re off to another strong start already this week.
The South African duo defeated the American twosome of Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, 3 and 1, in foursomes on Thursday afternoon — the only full point claimed by the International team on the opening day, after which they trailed 3½-1½.
“I think we’re very comfortable around each other and we pull each other,” Oosthuizen said afterward. “When one is hitting a bad shot, the other is sort of pulling you the whole time.”
It was a hard-fought battle for most of the match, with neither team ever leading by more than a single hole until Oosthuizen and Grace took a 2-up lead on the 15th hole. Two holes later, they clinched the victory.
“It was nice to hit clutch shots when it mattered,” said Grace, who posted a perfect record in this competition two years ago. “We putted great. His speed was spot-on. Down the stretch, we had a couple of long putts when we needed to just put pressure on the guys and did exactly that.”
It should come as no surprise, but International captain Nick Price will indeed keep the South African pairing together for Friday’s fourball session, when they’ll face the American team of Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler.
— ESPN.com senior golf writer Jason Sobel
Presidents on the tee
The presence of three former U.S. presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — at Liberty National on Thursday set the perfect stage to kick off the biennial matches. And President Clinton didn’t mind talking a little golf, too. — Jason Sobel
Selfie time for Lefty
Impressive shoe game
Justin Thomas out in the first match Thursday at the Presidents Cup. If the American’s shoe game is any indicator, he and partner Rickie Fowler should do quite well against the International team of Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel.